- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Metropolitan Police have captured an escaped prisoner who took his guard’s gun and fled Inova Fairfax Hospital early Tuesday morning, causing streets to close and the hospital to lockdown for hours.

One shot was fired, but nobody was injured during the early morning altercation at the hospital in Falls Church, local authorities said.

Fairfax County Police at the time said the prisoner, Wossen Assaye, who was described as 6-foot-tall and 170 pounds, was considered “armed and dangerous.” He was initially wearing a hospital gown with no shoes when he carjacked a 2002 silver Toyota Camry with Virginia tags XZP-8513 and with front-end damage.

The escaped prisoner ditched that car and stole a dark gray Hyundai Elantra with Virginia tags XTU-5024. Police said he was spotted wearing street clothes — a dark-colored jacket and blue jeans. He was later captured in Southeast D.C. on a call from a tipster after significant TV, radio and social media coverage.

The prisoner was originally in the custody of a private security guard, and he escaped after overpowering the guard and taking possession of the gun, Fairfax County Police said.

U.S. Marshal Bobby Matheson said Assaye was in the custody of two Allied Protective Services guards when one took a restroom break and Assaye overpowered the other, The Associated Press reported.

The prisoner used the female contract guard as a shield as he fled down the hall, but then he released her and fled down a stairwell, Matheson said, the AP reported.

Assaye was being held at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria City on federal charges for bank robbery when he attempted to hurt himself, which prompted his trip to the hospital, Fairfax County Police said.

In 2013, the detention center housed 419 prisoners — a third of them federal prisoners because of the nearby federal courthouse, the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office said on its website.

All hospital employees were directed earlier by police to go to Falls Church High School where a shuttle bus took them to the hospital.

The lockdown at the hospital at 3300 Gallows Road is now lifted.


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